Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To my Leo (June 4, 2009)...

The House Dog's Grave (for Haig, an English Bulldog)
-Robinson Jeffers, 1941

I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you,
If you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no,
All the nights through I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read,
And I fear often grieving for me,
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying.
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying
Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.

No, dears, that's too much hope:
You are not so well cared for as I have been.
And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided...
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

2 comments:

flynnfx said...

You have my heartfelt sympathies over your loss. I know when I had to put down Saul I was weeping openly - that pet is as much a part of the family as anyone else. To those who say; "It's only a dog or cat." I say; "You have a friend who loves you unconditionally for the better part of 10 years or more - no matter how your day has gone - they are always happy to see you - and then you lose them - then come back to me and talk."

May he rest in peace.

The Real CAM said...

Thank you Mr flynnfx. He will be missed.